• Another GOP lawmaker backs drilling industry tax

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Another Republican state lawmaker in the Republican-controlled Legislature is lining up behind a proposal to impose a new tax on Pennsylvania's booming natural gas industry. Monroe County Rep. Mario Scavello asked fellow lawmakers Tuesday to support his forthcoming bill to impose a 5 percent tax on the highest producing shale gas wells. He says that would generate about $600 million a year, based on 2013 production figures. Scavello is running for a newly created state Senate seat in northeastern Pennsylvania. A GOP candidate for an open Senate seat in southeastern Pennsylvania, Tom McGarrigle, is backing a 4 percent tax while two southeastern Pennsylvania House Republicans, Tom Murt and Eugene

  • Stocks end higher, extending a modest rally

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks managed to close with modest gains on Wall Street after a day of up-and-down trading. Coca-Cola rose 4 percent after reporting higher sales of non-carbonated beverages. Johnson & Johnson rose 2 percent after its income rose. Toll Brothers and other homebuilders fell after a measure of the industry's confidence in the housing market remained low. Apple and Netflix also fell. Major U.S. indexes moved between gains and losses all day before ending slightly higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 12 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 1,842 Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 89 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,262. The Nasdaq added 11 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,034.

  • Figures on government spending and debt

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Figures on government spending and debt (last six digits are eliminated). The government's fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

  • South Carolina editorial roundup

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    Recent editorials from South Carolina newspapers: April 15 Island Packet, Hilton Head Island, S.C., on the CBD oil bill: If they are willing to hammer out a compromise, state lawmakers still have a chance to pass legislation this year that could greatly improve ill South Carolinians' lives. Both the House and Senate have passed versions of a bill put forth by Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, allowing limited access to cannabidiol oil (CBD), a marijuana extract that many have found helps with epilepsy and other conditions. That may include Mary Louise Swing, a 6-year-old who lives in Mount Pleasant and suffers between 20 and 60 seizures an hour despite being on two medications.

  • Manchin urges mines to speak out about coal

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — The Democratic senator leading the battle against the White House's strategy to fight climate change urged the mining industry on Tuesday to speak out about coal's role in providing affordable, reliable electricity to the country to help combat strict new emissions rules for coal-fired power plants. Speaking to the National Western Mining Conference in Denver, Sen. Joe Manchin said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is not being reasonable in proposing that future coal plants reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions by capturing and storing carbon. Manchin and other opponents say such technology is years away from being commercially viable. "They're hearing us loud and clear. I just need more voices

  • Obama discusses immigration with faith leaders

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama told religious leaders Tuesday that he has no plans to make unilateral changes to the nation's immigration laws while there's still a window for Congress to pass legislation. Obama met in the Oval Office with six religious leaders. Following the meeting, the president of the Hispanic faith-based organization Esperanza, Luis Cortes, said the president told them that "he would not be doing anything to change the law as it currently exists." A White House official later said that Obama does not foresee acting unilaterally while there is still an opportunity for Congress to pass more sweeping changes to the nation's fractured immigration laws.

  • Tobacco cos. make payments under state settlement

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The nation's top cigarette makers said Tuesday they have made about $6 billion in annual payments as part of a longstanding settlement in which some companies are paying states for smoking-related health care costs. Under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, participating tobacco companies agreed to make billions in payments to 46 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the District of Columbia over more than two decades. States first received full payments under the settlement in 1999. It was estimated that the companies would pay up to $246 billion over 25 years. Future annual payments also will continue in perpetuity.

  • Union fights push to hire private tax collectors

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A public employees union is fighting a bipartisan effort in Congress to force the Internal Revenue Service to hire private contractors to collect some delinquent taxes. The IRS stopped using private tax collectors in 2009 after determining that agency employees could do a better job. The National Treasury Employees Union said the program failed in the past and should not be forced on the IRS. "We have been down this road before and the private companies failed on many levels," said NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley. "In 2009, the Treasury Department made a considered decision to stop contracting out the collection of taxes. Treasury continues to have the authority to use these companies but has chosen

  • Oil falls ahead of Ukraine meeting, US supply data

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    The price of oil fell Tuesday ahead of talks aimed at defusing tensions over Ukraine and the latest report on U.S. oil supplies. Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery slid 30 cents to close at $103.75 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, the Nymex contract rose 31 cents. Brent crude, a benchmark used for international varieties of oil, dropped 33 cents to $108.74 on the ICE Futures exchange in London after hitting a six-week high. Officials from the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and the European Union are set to meet in Geneva on Thursday for negotiations aimed at persuading Russia to back off in Ukraine following its annexation of Crimea.

  • Shell to discuss petrochemical plant proposal

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Shell Oil Co. plans to hold public meetings Wednesday to discuss the possibility of building a huge petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania. In early 2012, Shell chose a site about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh for the possible multibillion-dollar plant, and the company has purchased property in the area and sought bids from suppliers. That same year, it also got what lawmakers call Pennsylvania's largest ever taxpayer-financed incentive package. But Shell spokeswoman Kimberly Windon said there's still no guarantee that the project will be built.

  • Pa. man admits to tampering with electric meters

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Philadelphia man has admitted to tampering with utility meters in the city and suburbs, reducing the monthly electrical bills for more than two dozen PECO customers. Forty-seven-year-old Marcelino Cuadra pleaded guilty Monday in Montgomery County Court to corrupt organizations and theft of services. Prosecutors said that from December 2009 to October 2012, Cuadra was paid to manipulate meters of homeowners and business owners in Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, Delaware and Philadelphia counties. The loss to PECO is nearly $350,000. Authorities say Cuadra was not a former PECO employee or licensed electrician and had no documented training to work on utility meters.

  • Yellen signals more aggressive stance toward banks

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve may be about to turn more aggressive in its regulation of the financial system. Fed Chair Janet Yellen suggested Tuesday that current regulatory rules might not be enough to prevent the kind of risk-taking that triggered the 2008 financial crisis and nearly toppled the entire banking system. She said the largest U.S. banks may need to hold additional capital to withstand periods of financial stress. Non-banks with deep reaches into the financial system might also need to meet tougher rules, she said. Such firms range from money market mutual funds to private equity and hedge funds.

  • Spotify's Top 10 most streamed tracks

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    The following list represents the top streamed tracks on Spotify from Monday, April. 7, to Sunday April 13: UNITED STATES 1. John Legend, "All of Me" (Columbia Records) 2. Katy Perry, "Dark Horse" (Capitol Records) 3. Jason Derulo, "Talk Dirty - feat. 2 Chainz" (Warner Bros. Records) 4. Bastille, "Pompeii" (Virgin Records Ltd) 5. Various Artists, "Let It Go" (Disney Enterprises, Inc.) 6. Aloe Blacc, "The Man" (XIX Recordings LLC/Interscope Records) 7. Lorde, "Team" (Republic Records) 8. Coldplay, "Magic" (Parlophone UK) 9. The Chainsmokers, "#SELFIE - Original Mix" (Dim Mak Inc.) 10. OneRepublic, "Counting Stars" (Interscope) UNITED KINGDOM 1.

  • Spotify's Top 10 most viral tracks

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    The following list represents the most viral tracks on Spotify, based on the number of people who shared it divided by the number who listened to it, from Monday April 7, to Sunday April 13, via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify. UNITED STATES 1. Ed Sheeran, "Sing" (Atlantic Records UK) 2. First Aid Kit, "My Silver Lining" (Columbia) 3. Jack White, "High Ball Stepper" (Third Man/Columbia) 4. SZA, "Babylon (feat. Kendrick Lamar)" (Top Dawg Entertainment) 5. Owl City, "Beautiful Times" (Republic Records) 6. SZA, "Childs Play (feat. Chance the Rapper)" (Top Dawg Entertainment) 7. Glass Animals, "Gooey" (Wolf Tone/UMG) 8. Andy Grammar, "Back Home" (S-Curve Records) 9.

  • The top 10 books on Apple's iBooks

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    iBook charts for week ending April 14, 2014: Top Paid Books 1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books) 2. Divergent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books) 3. Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books) 4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Penguin Group US) 5. Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis (W. W. Norton & Company) 6. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo & Lynn Vincent (Thomas Nelson) 7. NYPD Red 2 by James Patterson & Marshall Karp (Little, Brown and Company) 8. Carnal Curiosity by Stuart Woods (Penguin Group US) 9. Missing You by Harlan Coben (Penguin Group US) 10. Smart, Sexy and Secretive by Tammy Falkner (Night Shift Publishing)

  • The top iPhone and iPad apps on App Store

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    App Store Official Charts for the week ending April 14, 2014: Top Paid iPhone Apps: 1 A Dark Room, Amirali Rajan 2 Monument Valley, ustwo 3 R.B.I. Baseball 14, MLB.com 4 Sleep Cycle alarm clock, Northcube AB 5 Minecraft - Pocket Edition, Mojang 6 Heads Up!, Warner Bros. 7 Facetune, Lightricks Ltd. 8 Afterlight, Simon Filip 9 Plague Inc., Ndemic Creations 10 SkinneePix, PrettySmartWomen LLC Top Free iPhone Apps: 1 2048 - The Game, Ketchapp 2 Flappy Smash - The End of a Ti..., Makeover Mania Story Games 3 Don't step the white tile, Ayumu Kinoshita 4 What's the Difference? (tilde) spot ...

  • The top iPhone and iPad apps on App Store

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    App Store Official Charts for the week ending April 14, 2014: Top Paid iPhone Apps: 1 A Dark Room, Amirali Rajan 2 Monument Valley, ustwo 3 R.B.I. Baseball 14, MLB.com 4 Sleep Cycle alarm clock, Northcube AB 5 Minecraft - Pocket Edition, Mojang 6 Heads Up!, Warner Bros. 7 Facetune, Lightricks Ltd. 8 Afterlight, Simon Filip 9 Plague Inc., Ndemic Creations 10 SkinneePix, PrettySmartWomen LLC Top Free iPhone Apps: 1 2048 - The Game, Ketchapp 2 Flappy Smash - The End of a Ti..., Makeover Mania Story Games 3 Don't step the white tile, Ayumu Kinoshita 4 What's the Difference? (tilde) spot ...

  • The top 10 songs and albums on the iTunes Store

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    iTunes' Official Music Charts for the week ending April 14, 2014: Top Songs 1 Happy (From "Despicable Me 2"), Pharrell Williams 2 All of Me, John Legend 3 Talk Dirty (feat. 2 Chainz), Jason Derulo 4 Let It Go, Idina Menzel 5 Sing, Ed Sheeran 6 Play It Again, Luke Bryan 7 Dark Horse (feat. Juicy J), Katy Perry 8 Turn Down For What, DJ Snake, Lil Jon 9 The Man, Aloe Blacc 10 This Is How We Roll (feat. Luk...

  • Coca-Cola sells more drinks but soda dips

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Coca-Cola, the world's biggest beverage maker, said Tuesday that the amount of soda it sold globally fell for first time in 15 years. The drop in the first quarter was offset by stronger sales of its noncarbonated drinks that include Minute Maid, Powerade and Dasani bottled water. Overall volume rose 2 percent, an improvement from the 1 percent increase the previous quarter. But the 1 percent decline in global soda volume is notable for Coca-Cola: The last time the figure fell was in 1999, according to the company. Gary Fayard, the company's outgoing chief financial officer, attributed the drop partly to the timing of Easter, which falls in the second quarter this year instead of the first.

  • Business events scheduled for Wednesday

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    Major business and economic events scheduled for Wednesday: WASHINGTON — Commerce Department releases housing starts for March, 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve releases industrial production for March, 9:15 a.m. WASHINGTON —Federal Reserve releases Beige Book, 2 p.m. BERLIN —Credit Suisse, the second-largest bank in Switzerland behind UBS, reports its first quarter results. Bank of America Corp. reports quarterly financial results before the market opens. American Express Co. reports quarterly financial results after the market closes. Capital One Financial Corp. reports quarterly financial results after the market closes. Google Inc. reports quarterly financial